Policy Framework

To promote cross-border investment in the region, COMESA has been encouraging the negotiation, signing and ratification of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) among Member States. DTAs aim to enhance cross-border investment by minimizing the incidence of double taxation payments. The negotiation and implementation of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) is founded under Article 161 and 162 of the COMESA treaty. On this background, the COMESA Council of Ministers in 2010 issued a directive, urging member States to negotiate DTA’s. In addition, COMESA developed the Double Taxation Model (DTM) as a tool for guiding and facilitating the negotiation of DTAs (or DTA revisions) by COMESA Member States amongst themselves and with third country partner states, on a bilateral or group basis.

Programme Description

The implementation of DTAs is designed to:

  • Protect against the risk of an individual or a corporate entity being taxed twice where the same income is taxable in two states;
  • Provide certainty of treatment for cross-border trade; and
  • Prevent tax discrimination against business interests abroad.

The RISM specific requirements for DTAs requires that a Member State commits to successfully negotiating at least one DTA or DTA revision/amendment with at least one other Country (COMESA Member or 3rd Country) in a given year. This should preferably be based on the COMESA DTM.

Performance Assessment

A target of at least 10 countries to enter or update existing DTAs was set at the beginning of the programme, to date *** countries have achieved the indicator with others currently engaged in negotiations to review or agree new DTA’s.